Despite his age and another spell in hospital, Ian Paisley is “as bullish as ever”, according to Eamonn Mallie, who spoke to him this week.
The former DUP leader was admitted to hospital over the Christmas holidays for unspecified tests. It is unclear whether he remains in hospital as the Belfast Health Trust said it had been asked not to release updates on his condition.
Mr Mallie said: “He was as bullish as ever. He said ‘I’m glad it’s done’ and we accessed the two programmes to him and to his family; we sat and watched the two programmes with him.”
Mr Mallie said that the Paisley family – with the exception of North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr who had “absolutely no act or part in any of the contributions to this programme” – had fully cooperated with the project.
Mr Mallie said that Dr Paisley had not been given questions in advance but, over 40 hours of filming between October 2012 and March 2013, had been told what period the next day’s interviews would cover.
The second programme is understood to deal with Dr Paisley’s departure from his church and party, and it is rumoured to contain substantial new information.
Speaking at the start of the first programme, Mr Mallie says that the programmes “will reveal dramatic and dark secrets of the DUP” before cutting to a clip of Dr Paisley saying: “The Scriptures tell us that so-called friends are probably secret enemies.”
Mr Mallie also says that the films “will unmask the hidden world of the Free Presbyterian Church and disclose how Ian Paisley’s tenure as moderator ended” before cutting to Dr Paisley saying: “If that means I should be kicked in the gutter, then kick me in the gutter; if that means that I should be chased out of the church and that I should be rejected as a reject, well I have to bear that.”